'High five to healthy living': A health intervention program for youth at an inner city community center.

Baker, A. D., Gilley, J., James, J., & Kimani, M. (2012). 'High five to healthy living': A health intervention program for youth at an inner city community center. Journal of Community Health: The Publication for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, 37(1), 1-9.

Providing developmental programs to inner-city youth is a key component to promoting healthy lifestyles in urban communities. In this study, 46 adolescents, predominately African American youth (age 11–14), participated in the “High Five for Healthy Living” hygiene intervention program hosted at the NFL Youth Education Town of the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta. Windshield surveys, key informant interviews and focus groups were conducted in order to identify the needs of the surrounding community and subsequently plan and implement a 5 week developmental module to meet these needs. Weekly modules were conducted focusing on oral hygiene, hand washing, physical activity, male/female personal hygiene, and nutrition/food safety. Surveys administered showed that a large percentage of students exhibited behavioral change following the completion of each module: 42% for oral hygiene, 88% for hand washing, 75% for physical activity, 88% for personal hygiene and 50% for nutrition/food safety. From these findings, it is evident that that African American adolescents can benefit from developmental programs targeted to address their specific community needs, and as a result implement personal lifestyle changes. Such interventions could potentially decrease in the prevalence of certain preventable diseases endemic to many low socioeconomic inner city communities. 

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